Skip Navigation
Skip to Main Content


News You Can Use

For Immediate Release:


Impaired Driving Increases during the Holiday Season
Increased Enforcement Activities Dedicated to Officer Noah Leotta

December 21, 2015

BALTIMORE, MD – Transportation Secretary, Pete K. Rahn today joined Maryland State Police Superintendent, Colonel William M. Pallozzi; AAA Mid-Atlantic Manager, Public and Government Affairs, Ragina Cooper-Averella; and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Maryland Board Chairman, Joe Sikes to remind motorists to Spend Time with Family, Not in Jail – Drive Sober this holiday season. 
“The message is simple -- drive sober,” said Secretary Rahn. “Holidays should be spent in a warm home with family and friends. Not in a cold jail cell with complete strangers.”
Roughly one-third of all Maryland’s traffic fatalities involve an impaired driver, with more than 7,800 impaired-driving crashes on Maryland roads each year.  During the holiday season impaired driving increases.  From 2012 to 2014, an average of 1,908 DUI arrests were made in December, and on average, 11 people are killed and 218 people are injured in impaired driving crashes each year in Maryland in December. 
"There is no excuse for impaired driving, so we will accept no excuse," stated Colonel Pallozzi.  "State troopers and law enforcement officers throughout Maryland are focused on identifying and arresting impaired drivers, whose numbers always increase during the holiday season.  We are dedicating our efforts this year to the memory of Montgomery County Police Officer Noah Leotta, who was struck less than three weeks ago by an alleged impaired driver and died at the age of 24."   
“With nearly two million Marylanders projected to drive over this Christmas/New Year's holiday, AAA is reminding motorists to make safety a priority. Driving without distractions and not driving at all if you have been drinking as part of the holiday festivities will help keep our roads safer," said Cooper-Averella.
“Drunk Driving is a choice not an accident. It is a reckless decision that has devastating consequences that my family has had to experience first-hand with the loss of my daughter Alisa,” said MADD Maryland Board Chairman, Sikes. “This holiday season and beyond, designate a non-drinking driver.  Make a plan before going out for the benefit of everyone's safety.”
Through the use of overhead message signs displayed state-wide this holiday season, Maryland drivers will be reminded to Spend Time with Family, Not in Jail – Drive Sober.  
Other educational campaigns include Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over and Checkpoint Strikeforce, which are major components of Maryland's Toward Zero Deaths campaign.  This campaign focuses on preventing impaired driving, aggressive driving, and distracted driving, while also promoting seat belt use and pedestrian safety.  For more information on the Toward Zero Deaths campaign, visit
Media Contacts:
Teri Moss, MDOT, 410-865-1028
Buel Young, MVA, 410-762-5188
Gregory M. Shipley, MSP, 410-653-4236
Ragina Cooper-Averella, AAA, 443-465-5020

#  #  #